The weekend just past for me was about getting back to basics.
I had booked in a family and friends weekend at Sanctuary Point to teach them a few basics of fishing. With the weather predictions not that favourable, rain and 30klm’s of southerly winds, I wanted this to be an enjoyable experience for them and not one they had to endure in the elements. So I left the boat behind and decided to go right back to basics which was fishing shore based. That is where my fishing had all started.
They were all of varying skills, some that had not cast a rod or reel ever, to others that had been fishing but unsuccessfully. One of the guys had asked if I could rig up a lure on his current rod and I had then learnt why he perhaps hadn’t caught any fish the day before. Too heavy a sinker, too big a hook and when I went to pull the line out of the reel the drag was seized. So had he hooked a big one it would have been a short battle and a win for the fish.
Picking a shallow sheltered bay with good weed edges and sandy patches I rigged a few rods with hard bodies. Given the shallow water and the ease to feel a hard body through your rod I felt this was the best option for a beginner to feel what is happening on the other end, whether they had weed/fouled lure or whether they had a fish. There was no use giving them a plastic in such shallow water expecting them to feel what was happening and second guessing themselves.
Casting lessons were then needed, so I demonstrated how to cast the lure out and tips on retrieving the lure. I started them with just a basic slow retrieve for the prospect of catching a bream or flathead. I then dismissed them to go and catch fish.
They all looked at me dumb founded about where to start on the bank as it was shallow for quite a way. I pointed out the large weed edge and to the sandy patches in amongst the weed. I suggested if I was fishing that’s where I would start. So off they went wading through the water to start their fishing expedition.
I didn’t go into the knot tying of braid to leaders or lures onto the leader. My first objective was to get them a fish and get them hooked. Once they are excited about fishing then they want to learn everything so that’s when I would teach them some knots. Its best not to make it too complicated to start with.
The group spread out and it wasn’t long before the first fish was hooked. It was Neil who caught a small bream. It was funny to see that catching one fish then created competition between the others and they were all determined to get the biggest fish. It was also about teaching them how to hold and handle a fish, legal sizes, approximate ages and good eating sizes when it comes to flathead.
Jana, visiting from overseas was next with a small flathead, she was so happy as this was her first ever fish that she caught.
Determined not to be outdone her partner Heath, was not giving up. He too hooked a flathead but unfortunately not as big as Jana’s.
We called it quits for the day when the rain and wind started sweeping in with the competition to continue the following day.
It was great to see these guys keen to hit the water and try their luck again. There was urgency between them to be the first to their desired spot. What seemed like 1 hour soon became 2 to 3 hours. With another flathead and 4 bream caught for the day.
Unfortunately not everyone hooked fish but the experience of seeing fish around them and the serenity of just being out in the water was enough to keep them interested in fishing.
I get such a pleasure in sharing my experiences and seeing new people get a thrill from a catching fish. Let’s hope they continue their pursuit.